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Zones 2-7, 14-20, 32-34, 39
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Full
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Moderate

Prunus serrula

Birchbark Cherry
Rosaceae
Deciduous, Trees

PRUNUS

This rich genus includes everything from English laurel to flowering apricots, cherries, peaches, and plums. (For edible varieties, see individual listings for apricot, cherry, peach, plum, and plum hybridss.)

Ornamental species and forms can be divided into two categories: evergreen and deciduous. Evergreen types are used chiefly as hedges, screens, shade trees, street trees. Deciduous flowering trees and shrubs, closely related to the fruit trees mentioned above, are valued for their winter or spring floral display as well as for attractive shape and for foliage form, texture, and sometimes even fall color. Many of these deciduous kinds offer a bonus of edible fruit.

Prunus serrula

This round-headed tree is grown for its beautiful, glossy, peeling, mahogany red bark. Leaves are narrow and willow-like, but its midseason white flowers sparse and almost hidden by new leaves are insignificant. The tree grows 20 ft. tall and wide. Birchbark cherry is often used as a 5-foot-tall understalk for other flowering cherries, so you get the benefit of its bark and another tree's flowers.

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